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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally 24th Sep 17 at 1:22 PM
    My DH and I have been in debt for 34 Years, apart from brief periods, ever since I was offered my first credit card at the tender age of19.

    Our debts were caused by us being impulsive spenders and not being very skilled at budgeting or managing our money, so we know it is our own fault. We always believed that one day we would have more money, mysteriously, and that this would bail us out .

    Our full light bulb moment came when we realised, "What if we never have any more money than we do right now?"

    A couple of years ago we were coping with the minimum payments, but didn't have enough to overpay on any of them. We were forking out £1300 a month in minimum payments, and the interest alone was £1000 a month .

    But then in 2015 our small business started to bring in less, and a family bereavement, and illness affected our ability to work. We could no longer afford the minimum repayments and we were scared we would lose our home. We were stricken with stress and depression .

    Step Change shone a light in the darkness for us and they arranged for us to make token payments of £1 a month to our creditors. This saved our sanity and we were reassured that our home was unlikely to be taken from us.

    My DH recently turned 55 and drew out his pension so that we could make full and final offers to our creditors. All but one accepted an offer of 50% of what we owed (which is all we had to offer). We are continuing negotiations with the final creditor and hope to be debt free by Christmas .

    Being so close to being debt free has made me realise what a heavy burden the debts have been all these years, like living our lives wearing lead boots.

    Once we are debt free we will still need to live very frugally because we have no emergency fund or savings, and our income can be irregular. I hope that starting a diary will help to focus me on frugal living, avoid impulsive spends, and keep my spirits up. Because frugal living can be a lonely and isolating experience.

    This site and Step Change has helped me so much, and I hope that my diary will help to inspire others that it's never too late to change your life .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 18-11-2017 at 9:49 AM.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
Page 76
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 6th Jan 18, 7:35 PM
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    mummytogirls
    Meals looking good today HHOD, enjoy your cider xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Jan 18, 8:14 PM
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    beanielou
    The years do go quickly so you must enjoy them while they're young. Sometimes I wish mine were young again, but when they're grown up you can know them as adults which is really nice, so it's swings and roundabouts.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    So agree with this though sometimes myu DS drives me mad , sometimes he is food for my soul.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Jan 18, 8:15 PM
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    beanielou
    So sorry to hear your news carbootcrazy.
    Take care of you.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 6th Jan 18, 8:17 PM
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    WannabeFree
    Enjoy the cider HH

    Sorry to hear your news CBC x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 6th Jan 18, 8:51 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
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    Seasidegal58
    Well done with the sale bargains! You certainly know how to pick ‘em!

    I’m a big fan of the Kon Mari method of folding clothes. Some of her book is a bit airy fairy for me - the finding joy in your clothes, etc - but her actual mechanics of storing and de-cluttering are excellent.

    You’re doing good with your food as well Hairy!

    CBC - I’m so sorry to hear the news of your poor brother.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 6th Jan 18, 8:54 PM
    • 1,891 Posts
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    Cumbria lass
    Enjoy your cider tonight. All good bargains on your jaunt today HH . Busy day for you tomorrow as well . You will shift weight being so active.
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 6th Jan 18, 9:24 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Enjoy the cider HH

    Sorry to hear your news CBC x
    Originally posted by WannabeFree
    Well done with the sale bargains! You certainly know how to pick ‘em!

    I’m a big fan of the Kon Mari method of folding clothes. Some of her book is a bit airy fairy for me - the finding joy in your clothes, etc - but her actual mechanics of storing and de-cluttering are excellent.

    You’re doing good with your food as well Hairy!

    CBC - I’m so sorry to hear the news of your poor brother.
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    Enjoy your cider tonight. All good bargains on your jaunt today HH . Busy day for you tomorrow as well . You will shift weight being so active.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Thanks guys
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 6th Jan 18, 9:41 PM
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    117pauline
    I have had another glass of pretend baileys this evening. There is real pleasure in drinking from a beautiful glass, isn't there?

    It sounds like you got some real bargains, thoroughly deserved after all your office clearing during the week.

    Enjoy Sunday honey
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 6th Jan 18, 9:44 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Pauline, hope you've had a good day .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 7th Jan 18, 8:52 AM
    • 923 Posts
    • 5,165 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Loving the sale bargains, why is it we get so drawn into them? I can't seem to resist them either at the minute x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated 13th May 2018
    Credit Card £0 now: £0 Tesco Loan £7500 = £0 Consolidation £15,000 = £13,855 Total = £25,330 £13,855 43% gone EMF #252 = £700/£1000
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 9:35 AM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Loving the sale bargains, why is it we get so drawn into them? I can't seem to resist them either at the minute x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    It's very frustrating . At least I managed to avoid looking at the clothes. It's not a bargain if I don't need it.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy Sunday everyone, it's a lovely sunny morning .

    Today my plans are:

    - Clean living room bay window
    - Wash curtains & nets
    - Put all Christmas bits away
    - Wash more laundry
    - Sort clothes in void
    - Tidy bedroom

    DH needs yo iron DS3's shirt and drop him at work at 12.00pm.

    Have a great day everyone .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 7th Jan 18, 9:44 AM
    • 6,153 Posts
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    Purplemumof2
    Looks like a productive day today Hairy, hope you manage to get some me time.
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £6200.00 Cap 1: £395.80 BC: £6841.81
    AFD xxx LTW 6/16
    POAMAYC 2018 #041 PD £6288.87/£7000
    Savings for Christmas £191.84/£365
    20p Savers 2018 £2 Savers 2018 50p Savers 2018 SPC 11 2018 #003
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 7th Jan 18, 11:12 AM
    • 4,806 Posts
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    carbootcrazy
    Thank you so much everyone for your very kind condolences about my brother's plight. Such thoughtfulness from strangers certainly lifted my spirits and it looks like a group of truly 'nice' (for want of a better word) people congregate on Hairy's diary. I'm so glad that I found it.


    Your Sale buys sound brilliant, Hairy. Don't begrudge them or feel guilty about buying them as they will all be useful rather than just nice to have. The tablecloth especially was meant to be yours as you liked it so much when you first saw it but shied away because of the price. People obviously love and look forward to your party each year and I'm sure they wouldn't care what the table d!cor etc was like as it's the people and welcome that matter most. It will make you feel better though to make things look extra nice.


    I think it's being astute too as I know from experience that something essential always drops to bits or conks out just before it is desperately needed. My only tablecloth (we just use place mats ourselves normally but the table surface isn't good enough to go naked for guests) disintegrated in the wash just before we were having several people come for a big celebratory meal a few years ago. Had to dash out to the nearest shop to buy one (living very rurally I had no time to go anywhere else) and it was eye-wateringly expensive. You know your party happens every year so best to be all prepared IMO.


    Have a good day. I hope the sunshine lasts for you. The sky here is a very watery shade of blue but even that seems positively tropical compared with the last few days steely grey
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-May: £1988.00+. June: £287.77


    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9618
    . Under £10K at long last.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 7th Jan 18, 11:21 AM
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    carbootcrazy
    Well done with the sale bargains! You certainly know how to pick ‘em!

    I’m a big fan of the Kon Mari method of folding clothes. Some of her book is a bit airy fairy for me - the finding joy in your clothes, etc - but her actual mechanics of storing and de-cluttering are excellent.
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    I agree with you about the Kon Mari book, Seasidegal. I'd heard a lot of good reports online about the folding/decluttering ideas in it and was lucky enough to find a copy in a charity shop last year. I too found it a bit too airy fairy for my taste, the idea of only keeping what brings joy. What tosh when those of us with money woes have to keep and use whatever we have regardless of if it brings joy or not. I seem to have a houseful of hand-me-downs and 'gifts' that I certainly wouldn't have chosen for myself and the only way they bring me any joy is that I didn't have to spend any money on them.


    Some of the folding methods are very good though. Look out for a charity shop copy, Hairy, or try to borrow it from your public library
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-May: £1988.00+. June: £287.77


    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9618
    . Under £10K at long last.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 11:29 AM
    • 4,422 Posts
    • 30,590 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you so much everyone for your very kind condolences about my brother's plight. Such thoughtfulness from strangers certainly lifted my spirits and it looks like a group of truly 'nice' (for want of a better word) people congregate on Hairy's diary. I'm so glad that I found it.


    Your Sale buys sound brilliant, Hairy. Don't begrudge them or feel guilty about buying them as they will all be useful rather than just nice to have. The tablecloth especially was meant to be yours as you liked it so much when you first saw it but shied away because of the price. People obviously love and look forward to your party each year and I'm sure they wouldn't care what the table d!cor etc was like as it's the people and welcome that matter most. It will make you feel better though to make things look extra nice.


    I think it's being astute too as I know from experience that something essential always drops to bits or conks out just before it is desperately needed. My only tablecloth (we just use place mats ourselves normally but the table surface isn't good enough to go naked for guests) disintegrated in the wash just before we were having several people come for a big celebratory meal a few years ago. Had to dash out to the nearest shop to buy one (living very rurally I had no time to go anywhere else) and it was eye-wateringly expensive. You know your party happens every year so best to be all prepared IMO.


    Have a good day. I hope the sunshine lasts for you. The sky here is a very watery shade of blue but even that seems positively tropical compared with the last few days steely grey
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Thanks carboot . I also found that the kindness of strangers was very comforting when I was grieving. I hope the doctors are able to give your brother as much time as possible.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 07-01-2018 at 11:38 AM.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 11:35 AM
    • 4,422 Posts
    • 30,590 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I agree with you about the Kon Mari book, Seasidegal. I'd heard a lot of good reports online about the folding/decluttering ideas in it and was lucky enough to find a copy in a charity shop last year. I too found it a bit too airy fairy for my taste, the idea of only keeping what brings joy. What tosh when those of us with money woes have to keep and use whatever we have regardless of if it brings joy or not. I seem to have a houseful of hand-me-downs and 'gifts' that I certainly wouldn't have chosen for myself and the only way they bring me any joy is that I didn't have to spend any money on them.


    Some of the folding methods are very good though. Look out for a charity shop copy, Hairy, or try to borrow it from your public library
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I will look out for the book at the charity shop. I know what you mean about hand me downs. It's very kind of people to give things, but they are often not to our taste and we have to use them anyway .

    DH and I have never bought a pair of curtains, but have always had hand me downs or the ones that came with the house. The curtains I'm going to wash today were here when we moved in and are not to our taste, but our big bay window is a non standard size, so we can't afford the specially made curtains that would be needed .

    Still we are lucky to have a house and to be debt free so I shouldn't complain .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 2:46 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well I've the washed the bay window and the room looks much brighter .

    The curtains have nearly finished washing, so I just need to tumble them and hang them up. I put them on a three hour wash as they were so dirty . They are a bit big and drape on the floor so I don't mind if they shrink a bit. White curtains are not very practical . Once I've hung them up I can wash the nets. It's a horrible job which I hate but I only do it once a year.

    I've found out why people who sit in the bay get so cold, there is a gap where the windows don't close properly as the metal struts are warped . DH thinks he can put some foam in the gaps to block the drafts. No wonder we get big spiders webs in the bay .

    There is so much money that needs spending on this house . The windows in the bay need replacing, most of the windows at the back of the house need replacing, some guttering on the front needs replacing, the front and back walls need re-rendering and painting, and that's just the outside .

    Inside we need new flooring throughout the downstairs, a new bathroom and new armchairs and sofa in the living room. The vestibule needs replastering and so does the plaster around the bay window in the living room .

    I reckon we'd need to win the lottery to get that lot sorted .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 2:47 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Anyway that was a moan fest so I'll try and be more positive now .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 7th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    • 5,832 Posts
    • 38,520 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Our house is the same HH, despite spending a fortune on it last year, loads still needs doing, it's a nightmare really.

    CBC - sorry to read the sad news about your brother. I hope he gets some good quality time. Sometimes life sucks.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £296.07
    Debt £2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
    Weight loss 0.5/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
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